I love lamb, in every way and every cut. But I don’t eat it very often because of the same thing that tends to make it so very delicious — its fattiness.
Still, all bets are off during Easter, when I happily bow to tradition. In Easters past, I’ve roasted a whole leg of lamb or part of a leg, and prepared it in a Mediterranean fashion. Trouble is, there’s always so much left over.
So this year I’m going with smaller lamb steaks that are cut from the leg, one of the leanest cuts of lamb
In fact, the leg is so lean you have to figure out how to replace the flavor and moisture that goes missing when you kiss the fat goodbye. In this recipe, that is accomplished with a rosemary-garlic rub with added salt.
Nutrition information per serving: 350 calories; 200 calories from fat (57 percent of total calories); 22 g fat (8 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 125 mg cholesterol; 13 g carbohydrate; 3 g fiber; 0 g sugar; 25g protein; 980 mg sodium.
Grilled lamb steaks
Start to finish: 1 hour 40 minutes (20 minutes active)
3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh rosemary leaves, divided
2 cloves garlic, minced
Kosher salt and ground black pepper
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 pound lamb steaks cut from the leg (preferably about ¾-inch thick)
1 cup artichoke hearts, patted dry and chopped (frozen is best)
1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1 large egg yolk
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon cornstarch
Set aside one teaspoon of the chopped rosemary. In a wide, shallow bowl combine the remaining rosemary, the garlic, ½ teaspoon of salt and one tablespoon of the olive oil. Add the lamb and coat it well on all sides with the herb mixture. Cover and chill for at least one hour, and up to overnight.
Set an oven rack four inches from the broiler heating element. Heat the oven to broil.
In a small bowl, toss the artichokes with the remaining two teaspoons of oil and salt and pepper to taste. Arrange the artichokes in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Broil, turning them several times, until they are golden around the edges, about three to four minutes. Remove the pan from the broiler and set aside.
In a small saucepan over medium, heat the chicken broth until it is simmering. In a small bowl whisk together the egg yolk, lemon juice, reserved teaspoon of rosemary and the cornstarch. Add a little of the chicken stock to the mixture in a stream, whisking. Add the egg mixture back to the chicken stock and cook for one minute, or until the sauce starts to bubble. Season with salt and pepper, then stir in the artichokes. Keep warm over low heat.
Heat a grill or a grill pan over medium-high heat. Wipe off most of the garlic herb mixture from the lamb and spray the meat with olive oil cooking spray. Add the lamb to the grill pan. Reduce the heat to medium and cook, turning once, about 4 minutes per side for medium-rare. Transfer the lamb to a plate, cover loosely with foil and let rest for five minutes.
Slice the lamb against the grain into slices about ¼-inch thick. Add the lamb juices from the plate to the artichoke lemon sauce. Divide the sliced lamb between four serving plates and spoon sauce over each plate.